This Vegan Raspberry Oat Shortbread is buttery, with a light crunch from the oats and almonds, and sweetness from the raspberry jam. This is more of a delicate shortbread–amazing with tea, or any time. Other raspberry bars on this site include Ottolenghi Raspberry Oat Bars (thicker and nuttier with a touch of caramel), and plain Raspberry Oat Bars (more of a rustic crumble bar). Yes, it would seem I have a thing for raspberry bars. . .
VEGAN RASPBERRY OAT SHORTBREAD
Makes: 16 squares
1 Cup all-purpose flour
1/2 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 Cup plus 1 Tablespoon cold vegan butter (Earth Balance Buttery Sticks)
3/4 Cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 Cup slivered almonds
1/4 Cup raspberry jam (I like Dickinson’s Red Raspberry)
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/16th teaspoon almond extract
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter an 8-inch baking pan and put it in the fridge. Mix the jam with the vanilla and almond extracts, stirring until it’s a somewhat smooth consistency, and then leave it out at room temperature. In a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar and salt. Then add oats and pulse a few times. Cube the vegan butter and add it, pulsing until the mixture starts to cling together in bits. Then add almonds and pulse just until incorporated. The idea is NOT to grind up the almonds–you just want them in pieces throughout the dough. We also do NOT want to overwork the dough, it’s going to be a bit crumbly.
Set aside 1/2 Cup of the dough. Press the rest GENTLY but evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread the raspberry jam evenly over the dough, leaving at least a 1/4 inch-wide border (in other words, do not spread the jam all the way to the edges). Sprinkle the reserved dough evenly over the jam.
Bake until the edges are starting to turn golden, about 20-23 minutes. Within 5-10 minutes, run a butter knife around the edges of the pan to loosen. You can also make your cuts after about 10 minutes, cutting straight down (do not use a sawing motion). The end of a thin flat spatula works well for this. The shortbread will firm as it cools. Store in fridge, but bring to room temperature before serving.
Notes: This recipe took me three tries to get right. I started out adding fresh raspberries but the end result was then too gooey and wet. I pressed the dough too firmly in the pan and it was hard to cut into squares, and a bit tough. I also found that for best results, it kind of matters in which order you process the dough ingredients.
Leave the edges of the dough bare, as the jam will spread on its own.